tv The Journal Editorial Report FOX News September 14, 2014 12:00pm-12:31pm PDT
this week on the journal, editorial report. president obama's war plan. he's unveiled a strategy for taking on isis. but it will be enough to destroy the terror group? and does he have the political resolve to see it through? plus a mixed reaction on political. but does the president need congress to november ahead? and, fresh developments in the irs targeting probe, including a phone call that raises new questions about the justice department's role in spinning the scandal. >> i want the american people to understand how this effort will be different from the wars in iraq and afghanistan.
it will not involve american combat troops fighting on foreign soil. this counter terrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless vrlt to take out isil wherever they are with our air pour and with our partners forces on the ground. >> that was president obama wednesday, laying out his plan for taking on the islamic state. in a prime time address, the president vowed to degrade and ultimately destroy the terror group through a coalition-led air campaign and support from iraqi, kurdish and syrian opposition forces on the ground. it's an effort the administration acknowledges could take years. so is it the right approach and can the president be trusted to followthrough? let's ask "wall street journal" columnists. brett, you've been urging the united states to act against isis for a long time. now that the president finally has, pick out the good things
first about his approach. what do you like about the videota strategy? >> airpower can be effective especially against an enemy that has gotten themselves into tanks and armored equipment that can be picked off from the air. it's not so much of a guerrilla movement. and we can have effective proxies, particularly in the kurdish peshmerga if we give them the kind of military support that they need and i think that's right. >> do you have doubts about the military forces as proxies? >> there's good questions. the if capacity of the iraqis, although less so now that they have their backs to the wall and they really have to fight. and it's good finally for the president to adopt a strategy of a moderate syrian opposition. however the idea of no ground
troops. >> this syria point seems to me to be a crucial one. because the president said you have to deny the islamic state a safe haven. and the fact that he's doing that increases his chances here. >> previously the u.s. involvement was limited to humanitarian assistance and protecting u.s. assets and u.s. individuals up nearer bill. clearly the pentagon was straining under those restraints. he has essentially green lighted our military planners in this area, so they're going to expand their targets. for instance they ought to be able to carry out drone strikes against -- they're not hanging out in waziristan. they're a little bit more exposed in pakistan. and at least the front has been expanded in syria. and that gives us an opportunity to start hitting targets in syria that will degrade. >> what about this issue of
ground troops, because the president took pains to say no ground troops. that's not very accurate. because special forces are going to be there, at least training and probably over time carrying out kill missions, or at least we're going to have to do that if we want to succeed. because that's how we defeated the al qaeda in iraq during the surge in 2007. >> when you say no ground troops, you're putting a lot of civilian life at risk. because ultimately no air strikes are going to be precision strikes, particularly if we're going to have to go after major leaders in iraq, in mosul and northern iraq. the president is once again putting down a marker which he's going to be very hard put to maintain while at the same time pursuing a goal of the ultimate destruction of isis. >> with all of that, is this fight winnable? >> i think it may be, depends on
what you mean by the fight. if you're talking about just isil in iraq. >> can he degrade and destroy isis, that's his goal that he set out. >> with the strategy he articulated, i do not think he can. i think it's the first step in a strategy that could develop. i don't see how you can limit our commitment to 475 trainers. it inevitably is going to have to get bigger than that. the problem is you start to raise recollections of vietnam, gradu gradualism. the question is, is this president committed enough to do what he needs to do, to hit isis both in northern iraq and syria. >> you're already beginning to see the core members of the coalition carve out exceptions, that the germans won't use ground forces, why? because of the per sis tbt
doubts about the quality of the american leadership and the sincerity of the president's commitment. we were better having a short, effective war and uses a lot of ground forces, heavy duty air strikes rather than an endless twilight struggle that goes on path obama's presidency. >> i want to take up this question of syria, because that seems to be the hardest strategic issue here. a lot of people say if we go after isis in syria, that degrades them, that will help assad's regime and his iranian supporters. how do you go into syria without assisting assad? >> isis and assad are in a kind of partnership and there's a reason why the assad regime helped schedule the oil. it's in their interest to make this a fight between the regime and isis because it tells groups
like syrian christians, either you're going to be with us or you're going to be slaughtered. so striking isis creates a space within the opposition for the free syrian army. >> the moderate rebels, the nonradicals, the john jihadists, but we don't know if it's going to work. >> the chance that he should have taken a long time. hit bashar assad's airfields. that will degrade assad in iraq. >> do you agree with that? >> it's absolutely essential and assad remains our enemy. this is a guy who killed 200,000 people, gassed people to death. he's iran's best friend, he should not survive. when we come back, the president's speech is getting mixed reviewings on capitol hill. but does he really need congress to move forward with his isis strategy? >> an f-16 is not a strategy. and air strikes alone will not
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i have the authority to address the threat from isil. but i believe we are strongest as a nation when the president and congress work together. so i welcome congressional support for this effort in order to show the world that americans are united in confronting this danger. >> the president wednesday calling on congress to get behind these plan to defeat isis, which includes funding to train and arm moderate syrian rebels. so how are republicans and democrats reacting so far? let's bring in "wall street journal" potomac watch columnist and master of all things political kim straussle. >> one thing i would describe as
very broad but somewhat lukewarm support. the democrats are haech that the president finally has a plan. the democrats who remain it's sol lagsist, want to give some support to the head of their own party, so they are generally coming on board too. so there definitely is the ground work there for some sort of resolution or authorization should the president really want one. >> brett, let's take the republicans first. that criticism as kim said, seems to be coming from the, you're not going far enough with a couple of exceptions, rankd paul being one of them, why commit to no ground troops? do you think the president's going to get support? >> it's one of these cases that the president may come to rue the disdance with which he has repeatedly treated republicans on so many other votes, so many other issues.
>> rue how? if the republicans are going to support him, he'll say, well, it doesn't matter, they're helping me. >> we're going to see where we are a year from now when this campaign continues and the republicans are not providing the margins they need. >> i think that would be my guess here, i mean you think, they're history, that a lot of them voted for the war in iraq in 2003. in the going got tough, they turned in 2004. john kerry what voted for the war before, was against it. the president himself, president obama one reason he won the white house and defeated hillary clinton was his opposition to the war. >> well, you know, one of the things that was noted at the end of the week, was that secretary of state john kerry was declining to call this a war against isis. the president won't use that word either. it's very interesting because the democrats do not want to be in a quote, unquote, war in iraq. i mean, obama himself is
obsessed with not being in bush's war in iraq. >> it is a war in iraq. sorry. it is. >> they will not call it a war. and the progressive caucus wants a vote on authorization and there's an irony in this. because of what obama has already done the air strikes, they did under what they call the authorization for the use of military force, the original 9/11 authorization. >> and obama in that national defense speech, called for the repeal of the aumm. so the democrats are very ambivalent and torn here. like we said earlier, it depends on the president pushing and leading him. >> how much time do you think the president has here to make this work, to show progress? and if it drags on six months or a year, are you going to see the emergence on the left in particular of intense opposition? >> absolutely.
the people who come out to support him again, they are being very cautious in this, you have mark begich who said he did not agree what the president was doing, he wasn't going to give him a blank check. the president wants this backing, both because he wants a little bit of cover for this decision and he also knows that it does look better if congress gets behind him. but if a year from now, things are tough, you can get that the democrats are going to split off and you will probably see an emergence of an anti-warome oute the president or someone like hillary clinton, who might be running to succeed him in office and that could be a big split in the democratic party. >> and this goes to the heart of the president's -- the problem with his strategy, which is a strategy that is asking americans to sustain a war over many years is going to run into political opposition, that's exactly what we learned with president bush and the iraq and
afghanistan war, this is why this has to be a short, sharp and successful war. >> i think the president has, under the constitution, the authority to do this without going to congress, particularly under the resolution in 2001. and even 2003, because we're still acting in iraq. do you agree with that or should he go to congress to get such backing? >> i would like to see eric holder come out and say this administration opposeds the 1973 war powers resolution, it's time to put that ghost to rest. >> what about as a political matter, if he goes to congress. >> it's a two-edged sword, because congress is always capable, as we have suggested six months from now pulling back. if he could get a clean authorization supporting what he's doing, that would be a political plus. but, you know, putting it in the hands of congress to debate this at a time, they really don't want to do it, i think it bogged down into an unproductive debate that would junked mine the
president's authority. >> and even if they vote for it, that won't stop them from jumping ship six months from now. new developments in the irs -- confirm what is they have long suspected that the justice department is collaborating with democrats on how to spin the scandal. musical chairs. fun, right? welllllllll, not when your travel rewards card makes it so hard to get a seat using your miles. that's their game. the flights you want are blacked out. or they ask for some ridiculous number of miles. honestly, it's time to switch
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justice holder's department is collaborating with congressional democrats in its own irs probe. and he says he has a phone call to prove it. tell us about this phone call, and what it means. >> so what happened here, is you had a senior communications aid to attorney general eric holder, who accidentally called house oversight republicans thinking he was calling house oversight democrats. >> uh-oh. >> yeah. saying, so, listen, i have got this information, i don't want it to get into the hands of the majority, so do you think we could leak it so we could have a chance to comment on it? on one level, this is a ridiculous gaff, but on another level, it does show a very coordinated effort here to obfuscate and delay this
investigation. >> as the justice department said anything got this? acknowledged it or explained it? >> oh, you know, the aid basically said, oh, you know, it's perfectly reasonable for the justice department to be talking to house republicans and house democrats and no big whoop. >> this follows the case that you've been reporting on of the justice department investigator andrew stralka who before he was assigned to this case, actually worked at the irs in the department under lois learner. he's been taken off the case, but that just suggests at the minimum, an ethical lapse, but worse some kind of coordination. >> right, that's right a that's what this information was supposedly about, we don't know what it was or is yet, but it was supposedly about andrew s
stroka. apparently we're going to find out more when the justice department thinks that's reasonable. >> kim, what else can we expect here as this investigation goes forward? >> well, here's why this matters, paul, i think what you're seeing over the past week, and especially because of this latest revelation by the justice department. remember, the justice department is supposed to be investigating this irs scandal. and instead, what we have got the cumulation of the last few weeks is a bunch of evidence that suggests that the irs and perhaps the justice department and perhaps other departments of the obama administration appear to have been spending the past year doing everything they possibly can to impede congressional investigators in getting to the bottom of this affair, so not just coordinating with democrats, we now have news about lois learner's blackberry being wiped, this happened after congress had already started investigating, after the treasury inspector general had already begun his investigation. you have the e-mails of other
critical people in this scandal gone as well. at least five of them. you've got redactions and documents that are being sent so the investigators can't actually see some of the core conversations. and by the way, i should also note, the only reason we even know any of this is because of outside litigation, which has enlisted the help of the judicial branch and the judicial branch has been forcing the irs and others to come clean with some stuff and that's b ee's wh finding out they haven't come clean with these investigators. >> do you expect more information to come out with these independent lieutenaawsui through congress, but through the judicial system? >> the most important right now is a case that's brought by judicial watch, it's a foia case, that has given the judge the ability, he is not happy with what the irs has been
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i'm for hits and misses of the week. let's s.t.a.r.t. with you. >> this is a lit to the bill and linda gates foundation, which announced this week it's donating $50 million to help fight the ebola outbreak in west africa. the united nations has estimated it's going to cost about $600 million to stop and eradicate the disease. so the government's response has been slow and lackluster, i'm glad to see the private sector stepping up in such a way.
>> hit to jed hencer ling -- ended the taxpayer pole -- it's been on autopilot for decades. mr. anson devoted most of this year to exposing it's costs and damages. we are closer than we have ever been to potentially getting rid of this huge washington boondoggle. >> a big message to the university of california system, this week dean recognized intervarsity christian fellowship on 23 campuses because it said the group, it's leaders, not it's members but it's leaders have to conform to their beliefs. it looks like they're putting a form of secular sharia into effect on california campuses. >> if you have your own hit or
mis, you can fwetweet it toous@jeronfnc. hope to see you next week right here on fox. fox news alert, british prime minister david cameron calling the terrorists isis monsters. this is in the wake of another gruesome video, this time appearing to show the beheading of british aid worker david hanes. british officials say they have no doubt, no reason at all to doubt the authenticity of the video, which is fueling increased calls for the country to take part in air strikes against the group in iraq and syria. amy kellogg life from london now be the latest. >> there really is a sense of grief across this country at the thought of someone like david hanes being killed in